Sharon Farmer is Professor of History at the University of California, Santa Barbara. Her academic interests include medieval women and gender, relations between Northern France and the Mediterranean, medieval environmental history, and the history of the Bible in the medieval and early modern periods.
She is spending the 2013-2014 academic year completing a monograph on the origins of the silk industry in thirteenth century Paris. This project, which builds on her earlier monograph on poverty in medieval Paris, will enhance our understanding of the role that Mediterranean immigrants played in the work environment of medieval Paris.
I intend to complete a monograph that will expand our understanding of Mediterranean immigration into medieval Northern France by examining the origins of the Parisian silk industry during the thirteenth century. The first scholarly examination of the origins of the silk cloth industry in late thirteenth-century Paris, this monograph will also provide the first book-length case study of the role that skilled Mediterranean artisans played in transforming the material culture of Northern France during the age of the crusades. Its discussion of women’s role in the silk industry will shed important light on gendered differences between the Northern French silk textile industry, on the one hand, and the linen and wool industries on the other. Its discussion of the role of Jews and Jewish converts in the Parisian silk industry will transform our understanding of Jewish economic activity in Northwest Europe at this time